"'Sustainable development' is, for government and industry at least, primarily a way of turning trees into lumber, tar into oil, and critique into consent; a way to defend the status quo of growth at any cost." - from the Introduction
Bitumen extraction is the lifeblood of Alberta, and there are many stories about the boom-and-bust economy. But what does literature have to say about the "progress" of petroculture? Jon Gordon maps out a new field of study by examining the relationship between culture and energy extraction, moving towards nuance and away from the entrenched rhetorical positions that currently dominate discussion. His examination of theoretical, political, and environmental issues in this groundbreaking book contribute to our understanding of the culture and the ethics of energy production within the Canadian context. Unsustainable Oil offers readers a chance to consider literature's potential in confronting the hegemony of the oil and gas industry, and will be particularly well-received by scholars and students of Cultural Studies, Literature, Ecocriticism, Energy Humanities, and Indigenous Studies.
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Jon Gordon teaches Writing Studies at the University of Alberta and at Athabasca University. He is the winner of the William Hardy Alexander Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2012). He has also taught at the University of Western Ontario, Maskwacis Cultural College, and at The King's University.